JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After facing two of the top teams in the nation to start the season, last week’s 8-4 loss to Bellarmine probably wasn’t what the Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team had in mind as they made their home debut at D.B. Milne Field. Still, the sting of an 0-3 start to the season can be erased with an important conference win and that’s what the Dolphins will be after on Saturday as they take on the High Point Panthers (2-2) in the first Atlantic Sun contest for both teams. High Point will have a live stream of the game available through BigSouthSports.com.
After a scoreless first quarter last week, Bellarmine was able to open up a 5-1 halftime lead over Jacksonville. Three straight goals in the third quarter brought the Dolphins back within a single goal at 5-4, but JU was held without a goal for the final 17 minutes as the Knights emerged with the victory to improve to 2-0 and gain votes in this week’s USILA Coaches’ Poll. Though it was a quiet day for Jacksonville on offense, both Tom Moore and Dakota Rohlin notched their fifth goals of the season, while Duncan Clancy had his fourth of the year. Pete DeLuca made 12 saves but was unable to earn the victory.
Opposing Jacksonville will be High Point, winners of two straight entering the weekend. The Panthers opened with losses to Delaware and Towson, but have rebounded to defeat Saint Joseph’s and Sacred Heart. Dan Lomas and Bucky Smith each have seven goals on the season, while Matt Thistle leads the team with five helpers. Austin Geisler is averaging just shy of 14 saves a game in the cage.
Jacksonville and High Point met last season in a non-conference game at D.B. Milne Field which resulted in JU’s first win of the season after a 0-2 start. Down 5-2 at the break, the Dolphins rallied with four straight goals in the third quarter, then got the winning goal from Ari Waffle with less than 30 seconds remaining in a 9-8 victory. Both DeLuca and Geisler were in goal last season, with each keeper making 13 saves.
“We are very excited for our first Atlantic Sun contest, especially against such a good team,” said Head Coach Guy Van Arsdale. “We need to continue to improve in all phases, but especially in our ability to finish our shots. This will be a key element if we are to have any success against High Point. This will be a very big game and our young men recognize that and are excited for the opportunity.”
Jacksonville returns to non-conference play for the remainder of March following Saturday’s action. The Dolphins come home to D.B. Milne Field next week and take on Marquette at 2 p.m. on March 8.